LONDON, ONT. -- A Canadian business leader with ties to Western University has made a multi-million dollar investment in student entrepreneurs.

Pierre Morrissette, a Western Ivey Business School graduate of 1972, has donated $5.5-million through his family foundation.

Morrissette is the executive chairman of Pelmorex Investments, which includes broadcasting, online and data properties.

Western states the money, which it will top up by $2.5-million, creates an $8-million investment.

It will support entrepreneurs, not just within Ivey but also across campus.

Western President Alan Shepard says growing entrepreneurship programs, already in place at Ivey for two decades, are a priority.

“This investment builds our capacity to offer an entrepreneurial experience for any student who wants one.”

Startup-based student projects are expected to benefit the most from the fund.

Already kinesiology student entrepreneurs Sucheta Khurana and Gurveer Bahia see the Morrissette donation, to be managed through the Morrissette Institute, as a benefit.

They’ve created a healthy snack product, which they hope will benefit from the fund.

“This gift will help students like us grow as entrepreneurs at every stage of the journey,” Khurana stated.

Morrissette says a significant reason for his donation is to educate young startup owners.

He argues many business leaders are born with skills needed to succeed, including tenacity.

“The skills required to turn an idea into a business, those can and must be taught,” said Morrissette.